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Angels with Dirty Faces: How Argentinian Soccer Defined a Nation and Changed the Game Forever

Wednesday 04/July/2018 - 09:55 AM
Book cover
Book cover
Edited by: Yara Sameh

Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Alfredo Di Stéfano: in every generation Argentina has uncovered a uniquely brilliant soccer talent. Perhaps it's because the country lives and breathes the game, its theories, and its myths. Argentina's rich, volatile history—by turns sublime and ruthlessly pragmatic—is mirrored in the style and swagger of its national and club sides. In Angels with Dirty Faces, Jonathan Wilson chronicles the operatic drama of Argentinian soccer: the appropriation of the British game, the golden age of la nuestra, the exuberant style of playing that developed as Juan Perón led the country, a hardening into the brutal methods of anti-fútbol, the fusion of beauty and efficacy under César Luis Menotti, and the emergence of all-time greats.

Paperback: 448 pages
Author: Jonathan Wilson
Publisher: Nation Books; Trade Paper Original edition (August 23, 2016)
Language: English
Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches

About the Author
Jonathan Wilson's INVERTING THE PYRAMID won the National Sporting Club Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. His other books include BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Travels in Eastern European Football; SUNDERLAND: A Club Transformed; THE ANATOMY OF ENGLAND: A History in Ten Matches; NOBODY EVER SAYS THANK YOU, a critically acclaimed biography of Brian Clough; THE OUTSIDER: A History of the Goalkeeper; and THE ANATOMY OF LIVERPOOL. He also writes for The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, and World Soccer, and he is the editor of The Blizzard.

Editorial Reviews
“Here, for the first time in decades, is a top-notch soccer book on how soccer is actually played on the field.” —Simon Kuper

“An outstanding work. . . . The soccer book of the decade.” —Sunday Business Post

“Argentina's narrative is complicated, and Jonathan Wilson mines all of it ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES. What sets Wilson's book apart is the depth to which he goes to show how soccer weaves through Argentina's political and economic turmoil. He finds that the country's most celebrated moments and players are never as great as they seem.” —Bloomberg Businessweek

“Mr. Wilson is the Lionel Messi of world football writing. Few writers in his genre are on the same literary pitch. His latest work is an integral read for those love the Argentinean style of play, its rich history and why football is the true soul of Argentina.” —World Football Commentaries

“[A] comprehensive, but immensely readable and wonderfully-researched history of a nation and its long-term love for the beautiful game… After reading this excellent history, you'll be as convinced as Argentina's football-loving population that it won't be long before the Carasucias add to their two World Cup titles.” —News North Wales

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